Morphological Variation in Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens in the Levant

A Biogeographic Model
  • Yoel Rak
Part of the Advances in Primatology book series (AIPR)


It was only the geographic proximity of the Mount Carmel specimens that spared them from being assigned to many different taxa as “separate form[s] of humanity.” Were it not for these circumstances, McCown and Keith (1939) would not have conceived of accommodating such a great range of variation in one taxon. However, a clear morphological dichotomy between the hominids from Skhul and those from Tabun (C-l, the female skeleton, and C-2, the isolated mandible) emerges from their monograph. The existence of two kinds of hominids in a relatively small geographic area of the Middle East has since been confirmed through discoveries at several additional sites. Other hominids have been found, including specimens from Amud (Suzuki and Takai, 1970) and Shanidar (Trinkaus, 1983), which can be grouped comfortably with the Tabun specimens, whereas specimens uncovered at Qafzeh (Vandermeersch, 1981) can be added to the Skhul group. Until quite recently, McCown and Keith’s basic contention—that the Neanderthal-looking Tabun group represented the earlier, primitive anatomy, and the modern-looking Skhul group represented the later, derived anatomy—was generally accepted.


Middle East Modern Human Zygomatic Bone Zygomatic Process Superior Pubic Ramus 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoel Rak
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, Sackler Faculty of MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Institute of Human OriginsBerkeleyUSA

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